Family affair. Handy advice when caravanning with kids
Before having kids, neither my husband, Jon, nor myself had ever been caravanning.
We decided a caravan would be the perfect tool to help us spend more quality time together as a family, and it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
We’ve now had countless adventures in our gorgeous 1971 Viscount caravan, ‘Sadie’, and believe we have a few things down pat in regard to travelling as a young family.
Here are my top tips for getting the most from a family caravanning adventure, and travelling with children in general.
Build the anticipation
I think a lot of the fun can be created before the actual experience. We like to drip-feed our kids information about where we are going; creating suspense and letting their imaginations run wild.
And they are generally beside themselves with excitement by the time we get there!
Research is priceless
Researching where you’re going and finding fun things to do, either where you are staying or in the surrounding areas, is a great way to enhance the fun factor.
We enjoy exploring as a family, checking out nearby nature walks or where the amazing beaches are. It also pays to research kid-friendly cafés and nearby family-friendly attractions.
Being prepared for whatever activity you’d like to partake in is helpful. If we’re heading to the beach, we make sure we’re prepared with all the boards and sand toys for the kids.
If we’re heading into a rainforest to explore, we like to encourage the kids to bring their binoculars or their little hiking sticks. It’s all about keeping the magic alive and, in the process, increasing your own excitement levels.
The value of lists
To help our holidays run smoothly with as much relaxation time as possible, I find it really helpful to have a packing list. Having everything we need means we can switch off and relax while we’re away – no last-minute dash to the shops!
I also love to keep a lot of staples in our caravan; it has its own set of towels, dishes, games, and books for the kids.
Every time we go away, our little ones think all the toys are so exciting because they haven’t played with them for a while!
Trying to be organised when it comes to packing can help alleviate a lot of stress.
And keeping the kids busy throughout the day usually means they’ll crash early on in the evening, giving you a window of time to enjoy as a couple.
Remember what you’re here for
If you’re new to the whole caravanning gig, I’d like to let you in on a little secret – everyone has their ‘moments’.
We all have times where we forget to pack the drinking water hose and everyone’s complaining that the water tastes like coins. There can be nights when no-one sleeps well and everyone’s in a bit of a mood the next day.
The most important thing to remember is the reason you’re away in the first place. And that’s to spend quality time together as a family.
Let it slide
I think as parents we are all well-versed on ‘picking our battles’ when it comes to kids – and it’s the same while you’re caravanning.
Personally, we choose to let a lot slide while we’re enjoying a weekend away with our kids. Routine can wait until we’re back home!
It gives us a chance to de-stress and our kids freedom and an opportunity to think of their time away as some sort of crazy adventure where they’re given free reign.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – enjoy every second of being away.
These little adventures will stay with your kids forever. I want my children to remember the times we spent in the caravan above all else.
There’s something really special about getting away from the housework, your job, your usual routine, and spending quality time with the people you love.
In our modern society we can get so wrapped up in our to-do lists we forget that sometimes the best therapy is enjoying the simple things: Getting out in nature and spending time with your family.
I hope this advice helps to enhance your family holidays. Happy travels.
Mia’s top five tips for travelling with kids
- Include your children in the travel plans to enhance the sense of occasion
- Research attractions and activities at your chosen destination
- Make packing lists! They’re invaluable
- Don’t lose sight of the reasons you’re travelling
- Don’t stress too much about routine
Do you caravan with your children or grandchildren and have some insights or advice to add? We’d love your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.
Isn’t it time you had a caravanning adventure? Book your next BIG4 getaway now.
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